Why Does Old South's Steeple in Reading Look Different?

Find out about changes to the Old South Steeple and bell tower.

Welcome to You Asked...Patch Answers where we answer readers questions. We recently received questions about the Old South Church. Readers want to know why it looks different. Here's your answer.

Changes were recently made to the  steeple and bell tower, shortly after a to keep them standing.

Old South's steeple and bell tower are known as a Reading landmark and have issues such as bug infestation and moisture problems. The beams are their main concern, said Co-Chairperson for the fundraising effort Suzy Axelson.

According to the American Steeple Co. of Salem, MA, the cost to fix the steeple and bell tower is $130,000. The Old South Church is not able to cover the costs, so they are reaching out to the community for help.

Community and Old South members are working together to get the steeple and bell tower fixed. The Reading Steeple and Bell Tower Preservation Fund has been created at  to make the repairs to the structure. 

While the fundraising has just begun for the landmark, critical repairs were performed recently on the topmost portion to stabilize it, Axelson said.  

"With the assistance of a huge crane, two workers from American Steeple and Tower Co. removed the crumbling weathervane. More extensive repairs to the bell crib, which supports the 1,555 lb. bell, the spire, the cupola and the decorative features such as the finials, balustrade and shutters will take place in the spring of 2013, if enough funds are raised," Axelson explained. "A community-wide fundraiser is seeking $130,000 in donations from individuals and businesses to keep the Steeple and Bell Tower intact, safe and beautiful."

If you are interested in donating, mail a check to: Reading Steeple and Bell Tower Preservation Fund, 6 Salem St., Reading, MA 01867 or donate online.  


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